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Classroom Resources: Mysteries of the Nile
Guiding Steps and Questions
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Use this guide to help you design your experiment.
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  1. Select or Create a Question

    • Evaluate whether the question can be tested through scientific investigation.
    • What constraints must you consider (such as availability of time and space, limitations of equipment, cost, safety issues)?
    • Make sure your question can be answered through scientific investigation.
    • What do you predict will be the answer to your question and why?

  2. Design the Experiment

    • Identify the variables in the experiment.
    • What kinds of data will help you answer your question?
    • What data will you use to support your prediction?
    • How will you collect, record, and represent your data?
    • What materials will you need?
    • What steps will you take to carry out the experiment?

  3. Review the Experimental Design

    • Have another team review your experimental design. What questions do they raise about your design and how might you address them?
    • Have your teacher review and approve your experiment before proceeding.

  4. Do the Experiment

    • Record the actual steps you take to carry out the experiment.
    • Record your data.

  5. Analyze the Data

    • What patterns do you see in the data?
    • How do you interpret the data? What evidence supports your interpretation?
    • What might be inaccurate about your interpretation?
    • How else can you explain the data? List two alternative explanations.
    • How can you organize the data to present the strongest explanation for your conclusion?

  6. Reflect on Your Experiment

    • Identify some of the flaws in your experimental design. How would you change your experiment if you were to repeat it?
    • What new questions do you have after doing this experiment?

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